Workshops & Events
The first day of this three-day STRONG STARTS series will focus on farm business planning and budgeting. Dr. Greg Clary, small farm business expert and economist, will lead this very personalized and interactive session. Register early so that Dr. Clary can specifically address your goals and planning needs!
8:30 AM Registration
9:00 AM Planning Your Small-Scale Farming Operation
Planning and budgeting are very important when beginning any operation. We’ll cover both topics in this interactive program. You’ll have a chance to discuss your own opportunities and ideas.
Dr. Greg Clary, Professor and Extension Economist—Management
12:00 PM Locally-Sourced Lunch by Joe Cooks Catering
12:30 PM Planning Your Small-Scale Farming Operation, cont.
Dr. Greg Clary, Professor and Extension Economist—Management
2:30 PM Adjourn for Tour
3:00 PM Presentation and Field Tour at Green Gate Farms
Our day will conclude with a tour of certified organic Green Gate Farms. With Erin Flynn, we will learn how urban farms can serve as valuable community resources and gathering places. She will speak about the importance of community engagement in urban farming; the role of public communications; and the possibility for creative, community-centered income streams.
Erin Flynn, Co-Founder and Co-Owner, Green Gate Farms, Austin, TX
5:00 PM Wrap-Up and Evaluation
Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license CEUs available for this program: 1 General
To register and view the full agenda, go to https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu. The keyword is “urban”.
https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu, keyword: soil or by phone at (979)845-2604. This event is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. www.tcmastergardeners.org. For information, call (512)854-9600. It is not sponsored by Austin Community College.
This course will provide small flock egg producers with information and hands-on training to grade eggs according to USDA standards. Producers are encouraged to bring a dozen of their own eggs for the hands-on training portion of the class.
Egg Grader Training for Small Flock Producers
June 25, 2013
Instructor: Dr. Craig Coufal
9:00 – 9:30 Onsite registration
9:30 – 10:30 Egg Biology and Composition
10:40 – 11:15 Egg Quality and Defects
11:15 – 12:00 Eggs and Foodborne Illness
Lunch (on your own)
1:15 – 2:15 Cleaning, Grading and Storage of Eggs
2:15 – 3:30 Hands-on Grading of Eggs
Strong Starts, a five week series, systematically covers a wide range of knowledge, skills, methods, and resources needed to start a successful small acreage operation. All programs presented by Extension specialists, representatives of state and local agencies (including Texas Dept. of Agriculture, USDA’s Farm Services Agency), as well as local farmers. Field demonstrations and training at a local urban farm will also be a part of the program. As this is an integrated course on urban farming (and our farm planning tools cover the entire span of the program), participation in the full series is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
- July 9: Business Planning and Financing
- July 16: Sustainable Ecosystem Management*
- July 23: Cultivation and Methods in Central Texas*
- Aug 6: Local Food System and Farmers’ Resources
- Aug 13: Sales and Marketing
August 13th Agenda: Sales and Marketing
8:00 AM Registration
8:30 AM Farmers Markets
Want to sell your harvest at a farmers market? Great idea! Learn how to become a vendor and maximize your experience! Carla Jenkins, Mueller and Cedar Park Market Director
9:30 AM MarketReadyTM
The MarketReady Training program prepares producers to develop supplier relationships with restaurants, grocery, wholesale and foodservice buyers. This curriculum is based around specific best business practices (in communications, packaging, labeling, delivery, invoicing, etc.) identified by current buyers – not to miss! Marco Palma, PhD, Assistant Professor and Extension Economist
12:30 PM Lunch
1:15 PM Exploring Texas MarketMaker
Really? Social marketing media for farmers? Explore this virtual market place between Texas producers and buyers, and learn how to create a profile for your farm. Marco Palma, PhD, Assistant Professor and Extension Economist
1:45 PM Farm to School
Improve children’s access to healthy and fresh food, while gaining an institutional buyer. The Farm to School movement is growing exponentially in Texas and across the nation. We’ll show you how to create a path from your fields to a local cafeteria. Alyssa Herold, Farm to School Program Specialist, Texas Department of Agriculture
3:15 PM Break
3:25 PM Share It, Tweet It, Snap It: Social Media 101 for Farmers
Successful urban farms integrate their livelihoods into the social and cultural fabric of their cities. Plus, it’s fun to create your farm’s social identity! Learn how to foster a “personal” connection between your farm and your urban community from author, educator, and social media guru, Kate Payne. We’ll give you all the tools you need to jump right into Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Blogging and Google +. Kate Payne, Author of Hip Girls Guide to Homemaking, and FCS Volunteer Coordinator at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension – Travis County
4:25 PM Wrap-Up and Program Evaluation
4:50 PM STRONG STARTS Closing Thoughts
What 2012 Strong Starts participants have to say:
“Very good experience led by capable experts. This should be done in the counties surrounding all large metro areas.”
“Clearly, the programming was created by individuals that recognize the needs of this group and the resources available. Program was sophisticated in the amount of material covered and depth of knowledge.”
“Great networking! The farm tour was eye-opening. The variety and density of the plantings made me realize that I have enough land and knowledge to launch a viable enterprise. The Ag Econ lecture already changed my behavior. I had no short or long term plan. I now have a one, three, and five year plan, have filed my SBA and gotten the Ag exemption.”
“The series exceeded all expectations. From someone completely new to all this, I found it to be simple enough to grasp and detailed enough to inspire me to follow up on it on my own.”
Begin with the basics of sustainable fruit production: site selection; site presentation; specific needs of various fruit crops including citrus, olives, pomegranates and jujubes. In addition, to review the importance of choosing varieties and optimizing tree health and productivity, much of the focus will be on understanding how fruit crops respond to our every-changing weather conditions in Central Texas. Tips will be given on how to enhance the sustainable production using Earth Kind principles with conventional crops such as peaches and berries. Explore newly emerging fruit choices that can be grown with minimal inputs.
Mr. Monte Nesbitt is a Program Specialist at Texas A&M University on Pecans/Fruits/Citrus.